Shelter lies again

The UK simply doesn’t have 320,000 homeless people.

10 thoughts on “Shelter lies again”

  1. For 99% of cases, ‘homeless = housed but not permanently housed’ if I’ve read the definition right.
    They’ve pulled off a clever trick. They’ve defined every one that has that problem solved tonight as having that problem tonight.

  2. The usual Guardian trick; talk about the homeless and illustrate it with a picture of rough sleepers.
    But “home” is a powerful word, and I think it’s too late to have a battle over what has become the new definition of “homeless”. Just don’t let the confusion between homeless and rough-sleeper stand.

  3. I should maybe include in my will a list of the charities I would have left money to, but won’t because

    (a) they lie
    (b) they suck at the government tit
    (c) they are just jobs-for-the-boys outfits, and overpaid boys at that.

  4. In Left & SJW world, words mean whatever they say they mean: equality, hate, homeless, misogyny, poverty, racist, rape, sexual abuse…..

    In Shelter’s world anyone renting a bedroom in an HMO could be defined as Homeless.

  5. They congregate their groups to conflate their numbers.

    Sleeping rough or homeless.

    Temporary or unsuitable accommodation

    Hacked to pieces by a machete or given a stern look

  6. The dangers of spreading your definition to cover the maximum number of people? Then you cannot redefine the problem very easily.

    What looks good on paper and sounds good in a trustee meeting can backfire badly when the government official count is very different – and they use a robust methodology.

    In my local town several years back the method of counting changed and included about 20 organisations. Duplicates were weeded out and actual homeless were a total of under 30. In an area with a quarter million population.

    No estimate was used, the actual people were counted and each form had initials and DOB or at least initials and birthday.

    The definition used for this collection of details? Homeless as in no place to sleep that they rented, owned or lived in on a normal permanent basis.
    So a 20 year old living at home with parents was not homeless. Students at uni were not homeless. Girl living with boyfriend not homeless.

    Guy living in a skip (common enough), homeless.

  7. Torture the statistics enough and you’ll get the answer you want. Include the prison population, temporary housing by the council, sofa surfers…
    Voilà!

  8. Bloke in North Dorset

    When my brother left the Army, he was SNLR because he hadn’t reached a certain rank and they had an up or out policy, the local council where his wife had been housed deemed he had made himself intentionally homeless so they didn’t have to house him. He was given a 3 bedroom house in a reasonably good area (for Stevenage) while he fought them but was classed as homeless.

    It took 6 months to get them to accept they had a duty to house him. Their solution, let him stay in the same property. At the stroke of a pen he, his wife and 2 children were off the homeless register.

    The problem with Shelter and the rest widening the definition as wide as they have is that more people get examples like that and when we here those numbers we think bollocks and walk on, no matter how heart tugging the accompanying story is meant to be.

    Its yet more compassion fatigue.

  9. BinD,

    The problem is that many of these giant charities are redundant. They came on the scene in the 60s and 70s, probably a by-product of television, and a lot of what they advocated ended up getting taken on by government, like foreign aid to poor countries, or dealing with real homelessness.

    It’s why a lot of them are frankly, liars. They make claims that the statistics don’t actually say. They use terms that people assume mean one thing rather than another like “homelessness” and “poverty”. They cherry pick cases that are clearly exceptional and then try and spin it into a political campaign.

    I generally give to charities which are small and where someone I know is involved in it and the mission is straightforward. The local night shelter gives the rough sleepers a place to stay and a meal. That’s it. Clearly helps some people in need.

  10. Bloke on M4 – the problem government has is that it is very bad at deciding where and how to spend money. It chucks money at countries who siphon off plenty – useful for major projects perhaps, not so useful for feeding those who oppose the government in power in that country.

    Hence people set up charities to do particular things.

    Problem is some of those charities help create additional problems. Haiti earthquake, tons of homeless people. Thousands of charity workers descended on the country – and stayed in some of the remaining buildings, drove up prices of some stuff, took lots of photos rather than get stuck in etc. And helped eat some of the food and drink brought in for the locals. Its become a career enhancer to be involved in major disasters as a charity worker, few look at what needs doing rather than what the organisation thousands of miles away thinks its people should do.

    I’ve been working with and for homeless charites in the UK for decades on and off. Part of the problem is that some people cannot be helped directly – you want to try getting a housing association house for someone who has been convicted of arson twice? You want to try getting the guy into a homeless shelter when the last place he set alight was a homeless shelter? He’ll fail every risk assessment or else he’ll endanger other people.
    Just one example, I’ve met hundreds more who will be very hard to impossible to ever get off the homeless statistics. Their problems cannot be solved by money, by handing over keys, by a 20 minute meeting with a case worker once a week.

    There are others who can be helped, who need just a bit of help or who fall through the cracks set up by councils or governments. Those people a small bit of help can make the biggest difference.

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